The Buffalo Sabres are slotted to pick second overall when the NHL Draft hits the stage in exactly two weeks. The second-overall pick is certainly nothing to snuff at – just look at some of the players drafted in that slot in the past. But could the Sabres make a splash and acquire the top overall pick?
As it stands right now, the Florida Panthers hold the first overall selection in the 2014 NHL Draft. But that could certainly change over the next two weeks, if the price is right.
When Panthers general managers Dale Tallon spoke to reporters prior to game four of the Stanley Cup Final, he made it clear that the team is “very open” to trading that pick. Tallon said that the Panthers want to make a move that will benefit the franchise — so whether that ends up being the first-overall pick or a tempting trade, only time will tell.
While it’s unclear at this point what the price would be for that coveted first-overall selection, it’s interesting to note that the Panthers are open to trading it away. The first-overall pick hasn’t been an object for several years. The last time a team traded away the #1 pick was in 2003 — and that trade happened on draft day itself.
The team involved? None other than the Florida Panthers.
The Panthers traded the first pick, along with the 73rd selection, to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for picks #3 and #55 and Mikael Samuelsson. The Penguins chose Marc-Andre Fleury with that top selection.
Of course, Dale Tallon wasn’t in the Florida organization when that move went down, but it’s still an interesting little note that the last time a top pick was traded, it was the Panthers who did it.
The biggest question here is what the Buffalo Sabres would have to give up in order to get that top pick. Tallon seems like he’s willing to trade the pick if the price is right – but what exactly is the cost of a first-overall selection nowadays?
And what would the Buffalo Sabres do if they were able to acquire that coveted top pick and select first? Could they even manage to squeeze out a deal that would allow them to carry both the first and second picks in this year’s NHL Draft? How incredible would that be…
The next 12 days could certainly be interesting leading up to the NHL Draft. What team will end up with the top overall selection? Will it be the Florida Panthers, or will they trade it away? What will the cost of that pick be, and could it be the Sabres that end up with it?